“Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory,” by Louis A. Dole

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“Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory, for thy mercy, and for thy truth’s sake.” – Psalm 115:1

Readings

Leviticus 26:1-13 · John 15:1-16 · Psalm 104:24-35

Sermon

The first harvest which the New England colonists reaped upon our shores was made the occasion of special thanksgiving and prayer to God. The importance of this first harvest, which meant that the colonists had gained a foothold in the new land, increased as its significance became better understood until, under President Lincoln in 1863, it was made a permanent national celebration.

From a very small beginning we have grown to become the richest and most powerful nation that the world has ever seen. The harvest is from the Lord’s hand. So today we celebrate that first harvest in recognition of the Lord as God over the destiny of nations as well as of individuals.

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“The secret things belong unto the Lord our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever,” by Louis A. Dole

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“The secret things belong unto the Lord our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law.” – Deuteronomy 29:29

Readings

Deuteronomy 29:10-29 · Luke 14:1-14 · Psalm 14

Sermon

The course of history is determined by the ideas which men hold and carry out into life. There are various systems of thought seeking control in the world. Socialism, Communism, Pacifism, and so on, together with the various religions, are such systems of thought. Each claims to seek the common welfare. With the exception of the religions, however, none look to a power outside of man himself.

We cannot get along without knowledge. We need to know the nature of the world and the meaning of life. And if we are to be inwardly at peace, our thoughts must be harmonious. There are conflicts in ourselves, as well as in the world in which we live. The forces which have divided men are at work in us, and unless we can subordinate them to some unifying principle, they will work havoc in our lives.

This need has existed from the beginning and the Lord has provided for it. He has progressively revealed His Word as men were able to receive it. While this revelation was yet in progress, many things were but partially made known which afterwards were more plainly revealed. Revelation has been sufficient to meet the needs of every age.

While the great event of the Lord’s incarnation and the light which it shed into the world were yet in the future, Moses could not be seen without the veil upon his face, nor could the later prophets be perceived more clearly, since upon the glory of revealed truth the Lord had placed a covering, This obscurity is not confined to the Old Testament, but extends also to the New. What is revealed in the Gospels and in the Apocalypse respecting the future states of the first Christian Church and the Second Coming of the Lord has been as little understood by Christians as the predictions of Moses and the prophets were by the Jews, and it can now be clearly discerned only because the events predicted have taken place and the meaning of the prophecies has been disclosed. These things, with the spiritual sense of the Word whose opening accompanied and reveals the Second Coming of the Lord, are secrets of revelation itself, which time discloses. There are, however, secrets which have no place in revelation.

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“I will take away mine hand, and thou shalt see my back parts: but my face shall not be seen,” by Louis A. Dole

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“And he said, Thou canst not see my face… I will take away mine hand, and thou shalt see my back parts: but my face shall not be seen.” – Exodus 33:20, 23

Reading

Exodus 33 · John 1:15-34 · Psalm 91

Sermon

There are several passages in the Word similar to our text. For example, Isaiah writes: “Verily thou art a God that hidest thyself, O God of Israel, the Saviour.” This chapter of Isaiah, chapter 45, treats of the omnipotence of the Lord. It tells us that love and wisdom in Him are infinite, that He is the Creator of all things in heaven and on earth, that these truths are revealed in the Word, and that there is no legitimate excuse for unbelief. We find in it the words, “I have made the earth, and created man upon it: I, even my hands, have stretched out the heavens, and all their host have I commanded,” and “I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things.” Yet in this same chapter we also find the words quoted above: “Verily thou art a God that hidest thyself.”

The recent disasters – the storm that caused so much damage and loss of life in Japan, the mine disaster in Australia – have again raised in the minds of many the question, “Is there a God?” And this question is asked often by individuals as they pass through trials and misfortunes, as well as in times of war, famine, pestilence, earthquake, and flood, when it is brought before the public mind.

First, let us remember that all things are under the Divine Providence, that although there are misfortunes, they do not bring real harm to those who trust in the Lord, and that whatever happens to a good man the Lord will turn to his eternal happiness and also to the benefit of all mankind. In the Lord’s sight there is no such thing as accident or chance.

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The Divine Providence, by Louis A. Dole

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“But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.” – Matthew 10:30

Readings

1 Samuel 14:33-46 · Matthew 10:16-31 · Psalm 40

Sermon

In these words the Lord teaches us that His providence embraces all things down to the very least and minutest particulars.

Our text follows the admonition, “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” The power of men extends only to the body. To show them how little cause they had to fear men, the Lord calls the attention of His disciples to the providence that is ever over them and which enters into the smallest particulars of their lives. “Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall to the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.”

Numbering denotes arrangement. The argument then is: if the Lord’s providential care extends to the least things in life, how much more to the greatest, if to the least individual, how much more to the government of nations and to the church which is His kingdom in the world? If the Lord provides for the sparrow, which is of so little worth, we have no cause for fear, for we are of more value than many sparrows.

These words of our Lord give us the light of hope in the night of trial and adversity, and give us strength and courage to meet all dangers and trials with full confidence for the future, whatever the appearance may be to us.

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